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La Crosse residents quiz school superintendent about building reduction plans



A nearly $200 million building plan for the La Crosse school system is getting mixed reactions from district residents. 

About 40 people attended an input session at Lincoln Middle School Wednesday night, to hear about consolidation plans which could go to referendum this fall. 

Superintendent Aaron Engel says a new high school, combining Central and Logan, might be ready in time for the class of 2027 to graduate.

“It takes about a year to design something of this scale, and it takes almost three years to build,” Engel says. “The current 7th grader would likely be the first graduating class.”  

People attending the meeting were concerned about the new school location, proposed for the Trane office building on the city’s far south side, as well as transportation times, and whether participation in sports might be limited for kids. 

One woman speaking at the meeting said it would be “crazy” to think that north-side students should have to take buses to a south-side school.  Another speaker worried that college students who don’t live full-time in La Crosse might get to decide a building referendum in a way families wouldn’t like. 

Engel says the district has looked at many locations to find one which would be big enough to hold a high school for 1700 students.

The ideal site would be probably a hundred acres for a full-fledged high school,” said Engel. “That’s not possible.” So, a 40-acre site is more desirable. Football games and other sports might have to be played away from a new high school.

A second input session is planned for May 3rd, also at Lincoln. A district-wide survey will be mailed out next week.



A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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